Friday, August 5, 2011
The Respect Series 4: "The Status Factor"
Most people desire distinguished titles---doctor so and so, vice president of blank, supervisor whoever, director of organization XYZ. Goodness, individuals will go through countless hours of schooling, train rigorously, and deprived themselves of a certain standard of living all in hopes of getting to a select position. Individuals will manipulate others, mistreat people, suck up to leadership, and even sleep around just to gain an upper level status. If that wasn't enough, this has also became the environment of many churches. Some church goers are in sole allegience to their clique. There are those who seek to look as pretty as the pastor's wife and only allow other very attractive people into their circle. Then, the ones closes to the pastor feel more important than the ones not quite as close. The wealthy and educated hang out together like they're in a country club setting, and the poor and depressed get together in their small groups in order to bad mouth the arrogant wealthy and educated. It's NOT hard to notice how ridiculous all of this is!
Some facets of Christian leadership will become highly offended if you don't call them bishop, pastor, reverend, prophet, or apostle so and so. Or, maybe it's their assistants that will carry more of the offence. But Jesus had no problem being referred to as the Son of Man---which denoted Him as an individual without any apparent title. Furthermore, in the Bible, Jesus spoke negatively about religious leaders always needing to be addressed by their titles.
"Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called 'Rabbi'..." (Matthew 23:5-7) NLT
Many may say, "Hey, that's not me, I don't have a big time title." Okay! But that still doesn't mean you're not trying to gain much respect from your status. Maybe it's how you seek to dress, with fancy clothes and all---your shoes, your watch, etc. are pretty expensive. Or, it could be what your drive, when you pull up in your car, the distinguished label on the front of it speaks highly of you. Yet, it could even be walking into an event or restaurant with that extremely attractive man or woman on your arm. I got it...maybe it's your zip code status. You live in an outstanding school district, in a top tier city, where prices range from $350,000 and up. None of these things should be used to define your status because they can all EASILY CHANGE. Neither should one look to these things for respect. You're more than some over exaggerated title, expensive fashion, a fancy car, a part of an attractive couple, or belonging to a top tier zip code. You're an individual GREATLY LOVED by the Almighty God. Always seek to remember that and leave the Joneses to being the Joneses. And know that you're a special part of something, better yet someone, that's so much greater than any perceived status.